xy·​lo·​phone | \ ˈzī-lə-ˌfōn also ˈzi- How to pronounce xylophone (audio) \

Definition of xylophone

: a percussion instrument consisting of a series of wooden bars graduated in length to produce the musical scale, supported on belts of straw or felt, and sounded by striking with two small wooden hammers

Illustration of xylophone

Illustration of xylophone

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from xylophone

xylophonist \ ˈzī-​lə-​ˌfō-​nist How to pronounce xylophonist (audio) also  ˈzi-​ \ noun

Examples of xylophone in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Visitors can tap out a melody on the xylophone made of bamboo stalks of varying sizes. Janene Holzberg, baltimoresun.com, "Jug Bay set to unveil trails, Nature Discovery Place at new Waysons Corner preserve," 4 July 2018 Instrumentation including synths, xylophones and strings make appearances on Down Below, which has been embraced by fans of extreme metal and indie rock cred gatekeepers like Pitchfork alike. Bram Teitelman, Billboard, "Not So 'Down Below': Swedish Black Metal Band Tribulation Makes Heatseekers Chart Impact," 1 Mar. 2018 Mini xylophones, guitars and drums were scattered across a picnic blanket. Samantha West, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Eaux Claires Day 1 recap: The 'mystery' lineup is released, and some reply, 'Meh'," 6 July 2018 The instruments were a piano keyboard, a guitar, a xylophone and a drum. Andy Newman, New York Times, "Live, From the Children’s Ward," 29 June 2018 Watch as the famous architecture drowns in rainbows, becomes a geological xylophone, and downright dazzles the sense with vibrant form and beauty below. Kat Bein, Billboard, "Watch Sydney Opera House Burst Into Color With Eprom's Sound," 29 May 2018 The recording studio is equipped with a drum kit, xylophones, keyboards, guitars, a ukulele, a set of tone chimes, amps and a full recording soundboard. Timothy Finn, kansascity, "There's just something about the power of music: It helps us heal, cope, brings joy | The Kansas City Star," 6 Apr. 2018 There was a lidless percussion box with a kid’s xylophone and noisemakers and shakers that Merritt and Gonson had bought at the Toys R Us in Framingham, Massachusetts, in the late eighties, and used in their early recordings. John Seabrook, The New Yorker, "Stephin Merritt Unpacks His Peripatetic Past," 11 June 2018 Others had the slow, acoustic feel of the first album, minus the ever-present xylophones. Aaron Gilbreath, Longreads, "Finding the Soundtrack to My Desert Life," 25 Apr. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'xylophone.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of xylophone

1866, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about xylophone

Statistics for xylophone

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for xylophone

The first known use of xylophone was in 1866

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for xylophone



English Language Learners Definition of xylophone

: a musical instrument that has a set of wooden bars of different lengths that are hit with hammers


xy·​lo·​phone | \ ˈzī-lə-ˌfōn How to pronounce xylophone (audio) \

Kids Definition of xylophone

: a musical instrument consisting of a series of wooden bars of different lengths that are struck by special mallets to produce musical notes

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on xylophone

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with xylophone

Spanish Central: Translation of xylophone

Nglish: Translation of xylophone for Spanish Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about xylophone

Comments on xylophone

What made you want to look up xylophone? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


a device or gadget

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Words for Summer: A Quiz

  • a closeup of a sunflower
  • Which of the following words means “of or relating to summer”?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!